Although the IAR is affliated to the Ahmadu Bello University, it is being funded and supervised by the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. It has joint ABU/IAR Academic Departments of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Agricultural Engineering, Agronomy, Crop protection, Plant science and Soil science, Consequently all the research staff of the Institute have teaching assignment. As a result, IAR and ABU Faculty of Agriculture staff undertake joint implementation of research projects and postgraduate training in University.


IAR has four subsations at Kadawa, Kano, Mokwa, and Talata Mafara. The subsations at Kadawa and Talata Mafara are located within large scale irrigation schemes, namely, the Hadejia-jama'are and the Sokoto Rima Basin Development Authorities, respectively. The duo are used for research in the Sudan Savanna Ecology while Mokwa is used for research in Southern Guinea Savanna ecology.


Research at IAR is organized on the basis of nine technical programmes namely Cereals, Legumes and Oil Seeds, Cotton, Artemesia, Farming systems, Biotechnology, Irrigation, Product Development, and Agricultural Mechanization research programmes and eight support units namely, Extension Units, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, Seed Units, Maintenance and Services, Transport, Clinic and Agricultural Estate.


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